Sunday, February 20, 2005

Who am I to be pontificating about medicine?

So somehow, you found this blog. Why should you read it and why should you take anything I write seriously? Good questions and questions that don't have crystal clear answers.

Click here for my answer
So somehow, you found this blog. Why should you read it and why should you take anything I write seriously? Good questions and questions that don't have crystal clear answers.

First of all, you can learn a little about me from the link to my profile. To summarize, I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine. I've had experience in several different aspects of the practice of medicine: private practice with several multispecialty groups, practice as a hospitalist in several settings. I plan to say much about these experiences particular in-so-far as they relate to you, the reader.

Most recently, my career has taken yet another turn as I have entered the world of academia and am now an assistant professor at UCLA School of Medicine. Here I have been honored with the privilege of being involved in the training of the wonderful interns and residents of the Harbor-UCLA residency program in southern California as well as the medical students of UCLA.

These experiences may add to your sense that I have some qualifications to write about medical topics but ultimately, you the reader, will have to decide if my words ring true. You will also decide if they add to the great dialogue regarding these important issues.

I hope my scribbling will prove meaningful to some readers and that maybe it will do some good, cause people to think, and give people some much needed insight into the healthcare they receive. In the days to come, I hope to write about many important medical topics primarily issues of policy and general aspects of healthcare delivery. When important news stories make their way into the popular press, chances are, I'll have an opinion and will express it on these pages.

For your information, some of the topics I'm interested in and for which you can expect to see some discussion are as follows:
  • Healthcare financing
  • The paradigm of so-called "evidence-based medicine"
  • The development and significance of managed care
  • Trends in medical research and their policy implications
  • Factors that motivate your healthcare providers and techniques you the consumer can use to influence them
  • Society's acceptance of various types of medical technology and the factors driving that acceptance
  • Regulatory bodies influencing healthcare delivery
  • The impact of malpractice on healthcare
  • Ethical issues in medicine
  • The way different medical specialists view their own specialties and interact with specialists in other fields
  • The evolution of the nonphysician healthcare provider
  • The advent of the "hospitalist" system in modern healthcare
  • Many others that I can't even think of to enumerate here!
I'm not particularly motivated to discuss individual medical problems such as the best way to manage a sprained ankle could happen that such a problem might capture my interest! There are some exceptions however and a few are as follows:
  • Weight Management (a big personal interest of mine)
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Exercise and its impact on health
  • Health maintenance
  • Health screening for disease
  • Others that may come up upon occasion
My hope is that these and other topics will be of interest to many groups of people: those with an interest in policy, healthcare providers, academics and patients.

One last point. I'm going to attempt to show a little self-discipline and not edit my posts after they've been entered. this way, there won't be any debate in the future as to what I've said or the positions I've taken. Of course if I've said something stupid or inane, I will attempt to rectify it in future posts. However, I promise to leave the original post unchanged.

The only possible exceptions I can foresee to this rule will be if I inadvertently libel someone, incite violence or engage in some other antisocial behavior! In that case, I will remove the offending passages at my discretion. I must admit that I edited this very post several times while learning the software and also because it is the first one.

Otherwise, my posts will simulate the same effect of actual "hardcopy". The down side to this is that misspellings, embarrassing grammar and sentence constructions will be laid bare for all to see and laugh at. Having no editor reviewing these pages, I will have to declare my faith in the spellcheck deity.

If you wish to suggest a topic, correct me, tell me what a fantastic job I'm doing or complain bitterly you can email me at:


I would love to hear from you!

John S. Ford, MD (aka the California Medicine Man)


Blogger pbradley_1 said...

I have great respect for the human body and the amazing creation that it is. I have reservations in general for doctors, the AMA, and the FDA. These reservations revolve around the ability and/or interest of the afformentioned three bodies to cure problems versus symptoms. It seems that drug companies have way too much influence on decisions that are made without concern for the health of the patient. I have great faith in homeopathic solutions and question why the medical community has been so negligient of this field of medicine. I am wondering what your thoughts are regarding these topics. Thanks.

February 24, 2005 1:11 PM  
Blogger James Fletcher Baxter said...

Consider: In all of my eighty years on the planet I have yet to meet more than a few (very few) MDs who will admit to a preponderant ignorance of the universe in which we all live, and breathe, opinionate, and teachably learn. Seemingly, it is worse today than in the past... Seemingly, such a confession and admission is the wisest place to begin.

February 26, 2005 8:45 AM  

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